“[T]he future has arrived, well in advance of the policies needed to support it,” says Arun Sundararajan, Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. Nowhere can this phenomenon be seen more clearly than in the rapidly-expanding "sharing economy," made up of digital platforms like Uber and AirBnB, which must battle with regulators in some locales to keep their innovative services running. Sundararajan's new book, The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism (MIT Press), contains everything you need to know – both cause and effect – about the radical disruption that is underway. An academic by trade, Sundararajan blends sociology, economics, technology and political science with a keen intuition to highlight the many tensions of the sharing economy, or as he calls it, "crowd-based capitalism." The sharing economy, he notes, is both capitalist and socialist, market-based and gift-based, and largely unregulated yet governed by complex rules and norms. Arun joins Bob to help listeners think about their place in the emerging landscape. Will we manage to harness these changes to become an "empowered entrepreneurs," or is technology turning us into "disenfranchised drones"?
The Common Core State Standards Initiative was unpopular with many Americans when states began passing it five years ago. The initiative details what K-12 students should know in English and math at the end of each grade level, and has since been adopted in 42 states. Now, the results are beginning to come in. While outcomes are trending positive in many states, the tests revealed that California has been performing poorly – worse than previously known under more relaxed standards. Robert Pondiscio is vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, where he writes about education and education-reform issues. Pondiscio recently wrote an op-ed in the San Diego Union Tribune, arguing that we shouldn’t shoot the messenger, i.e., blame the new standards. Having spent time both in the classroom and the policy arena, Pondiscio is positioned to see how it functions and how it falls short. He joins Bob this Sunday to discuss how California is failing to prepare many of its students for the future, and how increasing educational choice through charter schools can help.
Perhaps you remember the story of Susette Kelo, the owner of the "Little Pink House" in New London, Connecticut that was condemned to make way for an economic development project led by Pfizer. Maybe you were even a part of the public backlash – larger than any other stemming from a Supreme Court decision in recent memory. Ten years after the Justices voted 5-4 to uphold city's abuse of eminent domain, we can start to look at the impact of this major precedent with implications for all of our property rights and individual sovereignty. The question still remains: If the government can take your house to provide land for another party's private economic benefit, what can't it do? In his new book, *The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain*, Ilya Somin offers the definitive account of the case as it has impacted broader trends in American jurisprudence. Somin joins Bob this Sunday to expose the special interests that are preventing effective eminent domain reforms at various levels of government. He also reveals how pivotal groups like the Institute for Justice have been in raising awareness about this issue, and how their efforts have translated into genuine change. Our property rights are at stake – Somin's message is an important one if we are going to resist the grasping hand of eminent domain.
Welcome to America, where federal law enforcement rewards local police departments for ignoring the issues such as assault, robbery, murder and public safety in general. The government’s efforts would be better spent on the causes Washington considers important, such as drug enforcement, illegal immigration and “terrorism.” By taking advantage of civil asset forfeiture, local law enforcement agents are permitted (if not encouraged) to confiscate personal property without proving that the owner committed or intended to commit any crime. Cops are getting filthy rich in the process… and it’s legal! Sarah Stillman has written an expose entitled “Taken” which was recently published in the New Yorker and in this episode, she joins Bob to explain the role reversal of cops becoming robbers. Don’t miss it.